CIC, Bossier Schools partner for new video career mentorship program

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George Heron with Life Journey demonstrates the new video career mentorship program. (courtesy of CIC)

Story by Sonja Bailes, Public Relations Liaison for Bossier Parish Schools

Bossier Parish students will have an easier time deciding what they want to be when they grow up after going on a “Life Journey.”

In partnership with Cyber Innovation Center, Bossier Schools will pilot the Life Journey program this semester, with hopes of full implementation next year. Approximately 30 Bossier Parish teachers learned about it during a January 5 in-service and are now taking it back to integrate into their middle school curriculum and ROTC programs.

So what is Life Journey? Think of it as having a personal career mentor via video. Students follow the journey of real people in various cyber and technology professions around the nation who tell, in a series of video snippets, the various facets of their job. They also talk about the courses they took in school, the tools and programs used at the worksite and other information pertinent to their career. It simply takes the mentoring process and automates it.    

The beauty of the program is students are able to explore a variety of professions of interest to them and teachers, in turn, are able to help them make course choices that can lead them along their chosen pathway. It also serves as an additional resource for educators, enabling them to augment lesson plans and tailor them to students’ interests.

“I want to applaud CIC for its continued collaboration with Bossier Parish Schools and providing this opportunity,” said D.C. Machen, Superintendent of Bossier Schools. “Just this past month, everyone became aware of the threat that cyber security faces everyday with the Sony hacking. It’s very important in the age we live that students be given every opportunity to expand their knowledge about cyber.”

G.B. Cazes at CIC expressed his hope that Life Journey will build a broader foundation for STEM and cyber opportunities in education and, ultimately, lead to jobs.

“We are seeing what we’re doing in the classroom is getting more girls and minorities in these (STEM) programs,” Cazes said, citing a 39-percent increase in the number of students enrolling in engineering and cyber-related courses at Louisiana Tech University.

Cazes elaborated on the importance of that, pointing to CSC’s recent move to the Cyber Innovation Center.

“And that’s just the starting point,” he told teachers. “More (high-tech jobs) are arriving every day. CSC continues to grow their presence in our community while other companies are also looking to take advantage of what we have to offer. These businesses are excited about the outreach and STEM curriculum and the pipeline of students in the Bossier community.”